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  • Southwell Best Bet (): Mahler Moon Set To Shine, Just Call Me Al Could Surprise Under Brian Hughes

Southwell best bet (1750): Mahler Moon set to shine, Just Call Me Al could surprise under Brian Hughes

Southwell’s PlanetSportBet-sponsored card has saved this testing three-mile handicap until last, and it should give some lucky race-goers plenty to cheer about before they make their way home.

17:50 Southwell: Get Emma’s Offers at PlanetSportBet Handicap Hurdle (3 miles)

Any horse emerging from the red-hot Dan Skelton yard merits serious consideration lately, and Mahler Moon is no exception as he understandably dominates the early betting here.

Quickly recovering from being brought down at Wetherby on Boxing Day, this six-year-old gelding finished third in a Class 4 handicap at Doncaster in January, and was last seen finishing a decent runner-up behind Bumpy Johnson over this distance at Sandown a month ago.

Eight of the nine rivals who finished behind him were rated comfortably higher than anything he will face in this lower-class 0-105 handicap, and he should be able to overcome his two-pound hike on his way to helping jockey Harry Skelton boost his already impressive 26 percent win rate at this track.

Suggested best bet: Mahler Moon in the 17:50 at Southwell


Nickelforce and Rumble B look best equipped to challenge the favourite, but with the other 11 runners all available at double-figure odds and four each-way places up for grabs, it’s hardly surprising that Tipstrr’s pundits have come out in force for this one.

I’m Too Tired looks a nice price for a horse that has not finished outside the top three in any of his last seven hurdling efforts, although his climbing mark might work against him as he steps back up in trip.

A similar scenario awaits Royal Defender, who has received a smattering of support, but looking best treated of all is the Gillian Boanas-trained veteran Just Call Me Al, whose dropping mark could give him a chance of emerging from beneath the bookies’ radar here.

Planet Sport Bet Daily Special: Bet £20+ cash on any runner in the race and if Royal Defender finishes in the first 4 places, get a £5 Free Bet

His three most recent wins all came at Sedgefield when he was a nine-year-old, and now two winless years on, the best that his 11-year-old legs can give might be considered to be behind him.

That said, he gave encouraging signs on his penultimate run at Musselburgh just before Christmas that the handicapper is beginning to work in his favour, as he finished a very creditable runner-up over this distance, with his other seven rivals floundering in his wake.

Next best each-way punt: Just Call Me Al in the 17:50 at Southwell

He clearly did not appreciate his shorter 2½-mile trip in Sedgefield’s heavy ground when last seen 11 weeks ago, and he should find this step back up to three miles much more to his liking, especially off a mark that is a full 28 pounds lower than just after his last win.

When we factor in the notable presence of Brian Hughes in the saddle, then Just Call Me Al is clearly in the best of hands in conditions that might just align perfectly to put him in the mix in a race of this nature.



READ MORE: Southwell racing tips: Best bets for Tuesday April 23

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